tv The Communicators Sen. John Thune Rep. Bob Latta CSPAN March 4, 2019 8:00am-8:30am EST
court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> host: "the communicators" is on capitol hill this week to talk to members of congress about issues such as 5g, 5g, autonomous cars, net neutrality and privacy. john thune, he recently said that south dakota could be a leader in 5g. how so? >> guest: i think that we've got a lot of progressive overthinking people interstate. they realize the difference technology can make, especially in our state. we have dakota state university which has become a leader in te cyber field training professionals or being snapped up by government intelligence agencies and other cyber fields. we have a mayor in sioux falls
who is a tech entrepreneur sees the value of 5g and has done everything he can to make it easier for companies to invest. he's tried to partner with some of the companies that would make that investment in sioux falls, south dakota. a lot of other communities, the municipal link that represents all the cities and towns adopted an ordinance that cities could adopt and pass, that basically sort of lays out the template for if you want to attract 5g investment in your community, here's the best way to do it. it has to do with lowering barriers and impediments, making it easier not harder for companies who want to get involved in that business to do so. part of it is mindset, part of it is putting the right policies in place, and having the leadership to recognize the value and the benefits and economic dividends that come with 5g development. >> host: given the rural most of south dakota, as broadband
been built out? >> guest: not everywhere. i always tell people we have 4g or lte technology today but in some places we have 3g and some places in south dakota nothing. it's a very geographically vast state, but there are a number of programs and resources that a been made available to some of the rural cooperatives, telecom companies, independent telephone companies that serve smaller communities in south dakota that even able to access that has enabled him to make investment. you would be surprised as you go across south dakota how many places you have access to good internet service. perhaps not the quality of service they have in the larger more populated areas but that's one of the things we're trying to cure. a lot of that comes with figuring out how you can leverage some of those resources that are available at the federal level, having the mindset and the leadership and the policy framework, if you
will, in place that encourages people to make those investmen investments. >> host: are there any leftover remnants of the gatewood corporation in south dakota that could benefit you? >> guest: not a lot. gateway was huge thing a couple decades ago and they had a significant foot print in our state, a lot of jobs there. not so much anymore. as that world was evolved in the needs are different, the demands are different, but i think if you want to be a leader in that space you definitely have to have an eye toward the future, and what the future going to look like. if you look at 5g it's a future that is very connected where more people have access where you can connect more devices, where speeds are 100 times faster than they are today. we've got people who sort of capture that and realized just what a difference that could make in peoples lives.
and what a magnetic and be for jobs and economic opportunity and economic activity in some of our communities in south dakota. i give us, our leaders both back then and now credit for looking at that but what about 5g and healthcare in a rural state? >> guest: again, it's something that 5g has enormous potential to benefit the delivery of health care in rural areas. we have a couple, we are three major systems in south dakota that have a footprint all across our state in addition to north dakota, minnesota and iowa, other states in our neighborho neighborhood. they are really using the services today, but if you move from 4g lte to 5g, you are talking about lower end to end latency and the ability to do procedures and operations via that medium that didn't exist before. i think whether you are a
surgeon or if you are somebody was treating a trauma patient in a remote area of south dakota, if you get 5g working in a way that enables that type of communication to occur i think you can do great things. it has tremendous potential for healthcare delivery, especially in rural states where you've got big geographies you have to cover. >> host: did you timeout as commerce chair and give your choice of subcommittee? >> guest: what happened was i decided to seek the majority whip position, and our rules don't allow you to be the leader or the with an chair and major committee. i had two years left before i timed out on the committee. but i chose to move over to take the with job. i still unable to chair a subcommittee so i will chair the telecom subcommittee and work with chairman corker was now the chairman of the commerce committee on a lot of these issues but i'm still very much interested in 5g, interested in spectrum available, very much
interested in autonomous vehicles and a lot of the things we start to work on your very much interested in privacy which has the potential to be a big bipartisan accomplishment of this congress. both sides in the house and senate republicans and democrats realize we have to have some sort of national data privacy standard or law that will protect peoples personal information. >> host: do you see something in the 116th on privacy, and how do you envision it? >> guest: the big issues in debate are going to be preemption. there are a lot of states doing something. california has a lot of goes into effect january 1 of 2020 which has a lot of people worried and other states moving in that space. if you want to avoid having to comply with 50 different standards in 50 different states it's probably important for congress to be heard from on this. one of the other issues in addition to the preemption issue
will be who has will making authority, who has an enforcement authority? is at the ftc, the states attorney general? that a lot of discussion around that issue but i think, and there are thorny issues, not easy but if you can navigate that i put together a package that is balanced i think it's something we can legislate on. we need to. it's an issue the american people care deeply about based upon some of the eight breaches we've seen. i don't know where the house comes from on this now. speaker pelosi represents california 48 out of the 233 democrats and house are from california. california has its own law and they are going to want to keep their law but i think this is the kind of example where you really do need a national standard is otherwise you will have companies in the tech world that have to comply with california, new york and texas and florida, in south dakota, who knows, and i think it's important we have some sort of national standard.
>> host: at the same time a lot of the democrats seem to be i don't use the word angry, upset with some of the tech companies and the loss of privacy. >> guest: that presents an opportunity because i think the democrats who traditionally have been perhaps more closely aligned with silicon valley tech companies are as outraged about somebody's breaches as republicans are. it presents an opportunity to find a path forward, a bipartisan path forward that could lead to a major legislative accomplishment and solve a problem that the american people care deeply about and want to see congress acted on. in the absence of that use states stepping in a dream to own thing but the better solution long-term is for congress to be heard from on an important issue like this. >> host: you mention you will be looking at autonomous vehicles. have you written in 100 any test projects out in south dakota? >> guest: south dakota would be a great place because we hae a lot of wide-open space that i
have written in them. it is remarkable technology. it's very unnerving to be driving on 395 and allow the autonomous feature to kick in and to be sitting there and seeing this car driving itself, speeding up, slowing down, changing lanes but that's with the technology is moving. the reason to do it is because we have 37,000 families on america's highways every year. 94% of which are human error. if you can take some of that error out we can save a lot of lives. i'm excited about it. we need a regulatory framework year that puts guardrails around the technologies so it develops in a safe way, and i really think again is another issue congress needs to be heard from on. but the technology is moving forward and we either better keep up with it or we are going to be left behind. >> host: president recently signed an executive order encouraging artificial intelligence, a push toward that
in all federal agencies. >> guest: i think there's a really neat new technologies. ai is one of them. it has the potential to transform the way we live in a way 5g will. you look at the opportunity to advance in so many areas and artificial intelligence like everything else. it's one of those things it's got to move forward in a steady way. i think people over time will adapt to acclimate to and get more comfortable with some of those technologies, the fact that the administration recognizes this is where we're headed is a good thing. and the use of artificial intelligence in decision-making and creating more data and that sort of thing is going to be a good thing for all of us. >> host: the cybersecurity keep you awake at night? >> guest: it does. it's a real concern and these companies like huawei and cte that are trying to get their chips into our 5g development
and some of our investment is really concerning because i think there are some of these foreign countries and governments that have maligned designs on this country, and it presents a national security risk. i don't know if there's any way around that and it's something we have to be wary of. it's something that at the congressional level, the white house, that all agencies can all need to be working together along with the private sector which has some of the best ideas about how to prevent those types of attacks from occurring in the future and to put strategies in place to prevent them. it's a very real threat and the thing from a national, i remember when i was a member of the senate armed services committee this was kind of a new form of warfare and there were lots of questions about what are the rules of engagement, what's a proportionate response and if somebody tries to attack us and you've got these constant daily
sort of cyber attacks on her infrastructure, how do we respond to that? those of questions that our national security community is grappling with and the need to be because these thoughts are very real, and the more information that is out there, the more data that is out there, the more people know about us and particularly some of our national security secrets, the real, the more concerning it is. >> host: final question. over the years sometimes it seemed congress has been behind technology by a couple of years. is that still the case? >> guest: i think so. i mean, it's hard to keep up. yet people out there that are smart, and even if you're trying to defeat the bad guys, we have one issue our committee dealt with that of interested in and i got a bill this year with ed markey from massachusetts that has to do with robocalls and all these robocalls that we gift. get. it seems like every time you come up with a strategy or a
solution that can defeat the current way the bad actors come up with another way around it, because technology is constantly changing and people looking for new ways to defeat us in trying to stop it. i just think government has to do what it can to anticipate what's going to happen next. we are not always going to be right but we need to be thinking like they do, and that's why think the government has hired more and more of some of the junk people who understand and are very adept at cracking and breaking down some of the codes used by the bad guys. >> host: john thune as is republican fountain south dakota and he is chair of the communications technology, innovation and internet subcommittee. thank you for your time on "the communicators." >> guest: angst, peter. always good to be with you. >> host: representative bob latta of energy commerce committee, last time we talked to you you were in the majority.
what happened and how is a clinic a difference? >> guest: we want to get back in the majority. we lost agencies and want to make sure we get ourselves back but i think there's a lot of issues we've been working with democrats on in energy and commerce committee, and so i think we can work forward together on lots of pieces of legislation. >> host: what is one of those issues? >> guest: right off the bat is world broadband. it's important for our part of the country, and across the country. i have parts of my district and northwest, central ohio the folks don't have access out there to broadband. it affects everyone from kids going to school, farmers who cannot utilize the news technology. i sponsored agriculture legislation that went into the farm bill the last time. we want to make sure broadband is out there for all americans and we want to make sure what we
just heard from the chairman of the fcc, chairman pai, a 25% more people out there are going to be able to access higher-speed out there. that's what you have to have. areas in my district where people might want to have business, they can't because if you're not connected today you are not in business. that's one of the areas where i think we can work together. i served as one of the coaches on the rural broadband caucus. we want to make sure it gets out there across the country but we want everyone to be able to have it as soon as we possibly can get to them. >> host: northeast ohio is part of the district? >> guest: northwest. so when you look at the northwest section, it's important because again i represent the very interesting thing, i represent the largest farming communities in the state and 60,000 manufacturing jobs. so all these things are tying together today and so a couple
congresses ago peter welch and i cochaired a working group on the internet of things. we have to have the spectrum after to make sure we can bring this to people across the country. >> host: [inaudible] >> guest: if you look at the map that was out there you're so back we all commented on things that we know areas and so we have pockets that we need to get filled in. sort of you and can have it. it depends on, you go from downtown toledo two very rural areas of ohio is a some areas have great access and others have none. >> host: during the net neutrality debates, did you hear from constituents on that issue? >> guest: there's a lot of confusion as to what net neutrality is because we've introduced three pieces of legislation recently. i introduced one. i am the republican leader on the telecommunications subcommittee on energy and
commerce. what i did was i reintroduced the democrat chairman's bill from several congresses ago but we want to make sure we don't have a blocking, we don't have throttling, that paid prioritization, that folks are able to make sure that you have these issues out there. but a lot of people don't understand is with democrats want to go and the former fcc chairman is to take us back to title ii which is taking us back to 1930 law which was ma bell. we passed that. we don't want more government regulations out there to stifle. even when they said there will be forebearers other, but that might be one fcc but what happens to down the road? we are looking for to working together with the democrats to say look, let's pass net neutrality legislation and give it a legislation so you don't have this constant question of what's going to be out there in
the future. >> host: i saw the letter that you and greg walden and cathy mcmorris rodgers into the democratic chairman on enc. is that going to be something that's going to be looked at in this congress? >> guest: that's what we really want to have because again former chairman walden,, now the republican leader on energy and commerce, his legislation was looking at fcc and making sure we get things in legislation. cathy mcmorris rodgers bill is one that comes from the state of washington which was, from her legislature on net neutrality that was signed into law the democrat legislature and by a democrat governor. you don't see anything about title ii, and so we want to make sure again that's not in there because that's the problem that all of a sudden yet stifling government out there and want to make sure innovators can go out and innovate. >> host: what have you heard
back on that issue? >> guest: again it's really up to congress so we have extended the invitation hey, let's sit down and work on this. >> host: a lot of talk about privacy legislation. states are working on this individually like they have on net neutrality. is this something that you see in our future? >> guest: in the last congress i chaired at the time what was the digital -- made the change in this congress but we had meetings on privacy and one of the big issues out there, you're right, we can have states going out and doing the own thing. you can a 50 states officials coming up with this, it won't work. we have to have a national standard. california has enacted a piece of legislation that most people i've talked to apples that we don't want that. so we have until the end of year
to get this done and the subcommittee today, we had a privacy hearing already. we asked people from around the country to come and testify but want to make sure americans and consumers out there are protected and we have a standard that it will knows what it is and it's not like a patchwork where everyone sunday figure out is this correct? is that correct? you can do this, you can't do that but have national standard. we need all of the groups to come together. it's one of the things we have to help. we need them at the table and a lot of times you will not get 100%, but we need people to come together and sit down and say this is where we're going to go. because again we have to have a standard out there nationally and not a patchwork across the country. >> host: are we moving in the direction of europe and the gdpr? >> guest: the problem with the gdpr is that a lot of problems. first of all that's europe, it's not the united states. we have the first amendment.
that's one thing we look at. but at the same time they put things in their company the testimony they asked one of the witnesses, okay, what happens come with criminals out there, bad actors come in europe all of a sudden they can disappear. it's like we can't do that. when you look what happened with the gdpr, they said we will have a situation where we can say small individuals, smaller companies which are thriving, it's just the reverse of what's happening. the big guys are out there because they can comply much easier and so what it's doing is it's hurting the smaller folks out there across europe. in the united states with what to make sure anybody can compete, not just the big guys. >> host: one of the other issues in this area has been talked about at the trust on some of these big guys, facebook's, et cetera. what are your views on that?
>> guest: and again when you look at especially what's happening with the gdpr and we are going, again that is european law and how this, -- we want to establish our privacy that will fit what we do in the united states, how we operate. i think you will find out what they've done in europe is maybe they had gone too far and especially when you can't find the bad guys, the bad actors out there, how do you catch them and say to law enforcement, we can help you? >> host: it's been several months since mark zuckerberg testified on capitol hill. what are your views on facebook in general and that testimony and will he be back? >> guest: i think it's important for that if remember he spent five hours in the committee that day, and the jurisdiction we had we heard from a lot of different big companies out there.
i think the things we are out there is we have to have transparency. we have to have come so people understand what, in fact, they are doing. i think a lot of folks or the great majority of people don't understand how something might work and where your information is going and how that affects your privacy. after the testimony you heard some of the big names say i'm off. they're saying i'm getting off. i think the big thing is how some people know what the rules of the road are and that they can be protected. if they don't want that then they can get out of it. it's important as we go forward, again, i think for the public to be informed. >> host: two final areas i want to talk about. number one is mergers. sprint/t-mobile is still on the board. i don't know if congress really has a role but do you have an opinion?
>> guest: we recently had that hearing on the merger, and i point out i believe greg walden, again the ranking on the full committee also point out we don't have a say in this. this is going back to the regulators. the regulators have to make the decision as to what is it that will be best for the consumer. that's something you're such a look at. because again, last time it was digital commerce and consumer protection and now it's consumer protection and commerce. there's kind of a trend here that we look at what we can do to make sure that the consumer is protected and they know what's going on. again, it is back, it never has left the core of the regulator but we're going to see where they will go from there. >> host: but that said what are your views about a sprint/t-mobile merger? >> guest: it's important that it looks at, is this going to be
a benefit to consumers. as the regulators go forward, it would be the ones come as a move forward and say okay, is this it something that would be a benefit? and if so, then they go forward with it. if they say it's a really bad idea, and i think you know they will rule on it. >> host: the future of autonomous cars? >> guest: autonomous cars, i worked on that. with great cooperation. i chaired again the subcommittee that went through last time. not only that, i think we had wonderful cooperation of both sides of the aisle. staff told me with over 300 meetings staff type meetings we did on autonomous self driving vehicles in the last congress. what we were able to do that that, first of all, of course we're seeing a trend where deaths are going up in traffic accidents. there's over 37,000 traffic accidents in this country. there's a trend going the other direction, a lot of distractions
out there when people are driving today. but when you look at we want to make sure safety comes first, safety first, safety last, safety always. cybersecurity privacy. the other thing we want to make sure is technology is developing and the united states. we don't want to say it's been imported from china. we want to do it right here in the united states. at the same time you look at some of the benefits, this is not preventing accidents but also folks out there that are visually impaired like my mother. she had a horrible eye condition and she gave up her drivers license the day i turned 16 when i got my drivers license. she was dependent on a family member to get her someplace. that would help folks out there that would have a disability. also you look at the, for senior citizens they're saying i think it's time for me to give up my car but they might not have mobile access from anything from a cab or a bus in the committee. it will given that benefit to remain mobile.
we've got very, very close to the end as the bill passed out 54 to nothing. if passed on the floor by a voice vote, something this technical to pass out of the house mac on a voice vote. 102 the senate. we work with him up to the 12 hour of last congress but we just couldn't get it over the line with them. >> host: what were the concerns? >> guest: multiple things from multiple individuals. the senate operates to believe in the house. only need a devotes to pass something and overall for the majority. i want to start working on this because it's very, very important for the community out there, for all those individuals, for safety, for the disabled, for our senior citizens and just make sure again they grow the technology here and the united states. we want to get to work on and get it back over to the senate and work with our colleagues over there to get this thing past. i think it's going to be a great boon out there for safety and
for all the other reasons i've mentioned that it's going to help in the driving community drama bob latta, the public in a pilot and a of the energy and commerce committee and ranking member on the tech subcommittee. >> guest: thank you very much. appreciate it. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable-television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> this morning labor secretary alex acosta come white house counsel kellyanne conway and republican senator joni ernst